Rainbow Library project call out for authors to create LGBTQ+ stories in children's literature

Organisers have released a callout for 10 LGBTQ+ authors in Ireland and the UK to produce eight new book titles.

A little boy with glasses reading in his room
Image: Pixabay

The fine folk at Pop Up Projects have released a callout for interested authors to apply for their Rainbow Library project – a scheme to create more LGBTQ+ inclusive stories in children’s literature.

While there are some fabulous LGBTQ+ inclusive books out there for younger readers, they are few and far between when compared to the huge amount of literature already available.

And that’s where the Rainbow Library comes in! Pop Up Projects want 10 LGBTQ+ authors to fill that gap and get some excellent stories out there for younger readers.

As the organisers describe: “Over two years, 10 LGBTQ+ authors (writers, illustrators; some working in pairs, some alone) will produce eight new book titles for a wide age range of readers. Each book will be conceived, and the story developed during creative workshops, run by the authors, with groups of LGBTQ+ young people in eight places: Nottingham, Manchester, Basildon, Dumfries, Inverness, Belfast, Derry and County Cork.”

They continue, “During the workshop programme, each LGBTQ+ youth group will also develop their own writing and illustration, producing their own anthologies of work; the very best work will be selected for an overall anthology. After the workshop programme, the 10 authors will then work on their books, with the young people engaged as critical readers at key points.”

For Irish authors interested in applying, here’s what they’re looking for: “An exceptionally talented, ambitious and highly motivated writer/poet, of any age, who identifies within the LGBTQ+ spectrum. The commission will be to develop a picture book or chapter book for early middle grade (7-8+) readers and will involve collaborating with illustrator Kate Alizadeh at all stages of the commission.

They will need to:
– Have a strong portfolio of appropriate written work to share
– Have examples of work that has been published or self-published
– Have a talent at or strong interest in writing for primary aged children (under 11)
– Have experience of engaging children and/or young people, ideally through writing projects
– Have experience of or interest in working with an illustrator
– Evidence excellent writing and communication skills
– Be confident and outgoing
– Be based near or in County Cork and/or be able to travel to the county for in-person workshops

So how do you apply? Before Monday 31st January 2022, interested authors should prepare:
– A letter telling them about you, your work, and your experience – this should be no more than two pages long – and including your contact details plus links to any relevant websites or social media.
– 3-5 examples of your work – each no longer than three pages – as Word or PDFs
– A recent photograph of you

You should submit this information to [email protected]. If you have any questions, please send them to the same address.

So there you go! Could the Rainbow Library project be for you? Why not apply and find out.

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